Honey cake aside, Rosh Hashana is kinda spooky
Here in groovy Denver, I attended Rosh Hashanah services under a tent draped in a thousand lights. The newly ordained, thirty-something pregnant rabbi/cantor opened the service with a Hinei Mah Tov/Bob Marley mashup to One Love.
Everyone knew the words. We were all together. And we felt alright.
But Kumbaya and honey cake aside, Rosh Hashanah is kinda spooky. It’s the day God begins to decide, “Who shall live and who shall die?” in the coming year.
What if he/she also is deciding, “Who shall prosper and who shall lose their hard-won rewards?”
"Whose businesses shall succeed and whose shall fail?"
Unless we have been completely wicked or completely righteous, we have 10 days—until Yom Kippur—to do our best influence marketing. We've got just one target customer.
So we reflect on our responsibility for past deeds. We vow to behave more nobly in the future. And we reach out some of the people in our lives, to try to make things right where we had them wrong.
If the work is authentic, we enjoy it. We forget we have a goal.
As a solopreneur since July, I’ve had more than 10 days to reflect on my personal values. I traveled solo over the summer. I set goals for creating value for clients. For working at my highest and best use. And for the rebirth of my writing life.
But the High Holiday season has sharpened my focus. I’ve reflected on how, especially over the past year, I behaved and performed (not always admirably) in my life as a leader, contributor, mentor and a colleague. And how little time I have made for tzedakah (charity)—in my life and in my work.
In business, we often say: “No one will die if we get this wrong.” But don’t we owe it to ourselves to be more mindful of who we bring to the money-making table. And at what cost? How can we share more and support a higher purpose?
Today I’m picturing a massively thick Moleskine notebook. It’s black. The cover is hard. The paper is lined. In it are the names of countless CEOs and workers, investors and entrepreneurs. There is so much potential for good in the coming year.
My hope for 5778 is that I remember to look beyond my goals of signing clients and making a living wage.
My real hope is that we all become the people we aspire to be.